Calero sees capitalism as the central cause of many of the country's problems. He sees the government's role as protecting "the class interests of the tiny handful of billionaire families that rule the United States." He is running, then, "against this capitalist class." What qualifies someone to be president is "experience in the class struggle" and he sees the working class as "better qualified to run the country than the capitalist class."
Among his priorities are the establishment of a worker- and farmer-run government, access to the books of U.S. corporations, immediate legalization of immigrants, and the removal of money and soldiers from America's "imperialist wars." Another prong of the SWP campaign is a "mass public works program to build affordable housing for all, as well as building schools [and] hospitals."
The campaign explains the disproportionate levels of incarceration among Blacks as a consequence of racism "built into the fiber of capitalism."
America's military response to the attacks on the World Trade Center comes out of a theory, according to Calero, that exists solely to protect the "prerogatives of the ruling-class families around the world." He would accordingly redistribute military expenditures to national projects.
Though he is the party's nominee, Calero was born in Nicaragua and is thus ineligible to hold the office of president. The name of James Harris, the SWP's nominee in the 1996 and 2000 presidential elections, appears on the ballot in his place.
The Socialist Workers Party campaign declined to respond to parts of the questionnaire, citing time constraints. Only the questions to which they responded appear below.
What is the role of the government?
The U.S. government protects the class interests of the tiny handful of billionaire families that rule the United States. The Socialist Workers Party is campaigning for a course of action preparing workers and farmers to advance our class interests and to defend ourselves and our allies against the devastating consequences of this mounting financial crisis.
What is the role of the president?
The President currently is the executive officer for the U.S. ruling class (see above).
What issue or issues are so compelling, and able to be addressed only by becoming president, that you feel you must become president to address them? Why is the presidency the best way to do so?
We are in the worst capitalist financial crisis since the opening of the Great Depression of the 1930's. We are running against this capitalist class and the system they foist upon us. We will organize if elected to mobilize the working class and its exploited allies to put an end once and for all to the wages system, the source of the rulers' profits and domination.
Priorities: The fight to establish a workers and farmers government in the United States; to help mobilize the workers to open the books of the U.S. corporations to see their hidden deals and secret treaties; to put forward a program that fights for the immediate legalization of immigrants; that stands for not one penny, not one person for imperialist wars from Afghanistan to Iraq to the Korean Peninsula, etc.
What qualifies a person to be the president?
Experience in the class struggle. Because of this, Calero and Kennedy are the best qualified candidates to be president in the 2008 election.
What part, if any, should the federal government play in addressing homelessness?
The government should launch a mass public works program to build affordable housing for all, as well as building schools, hospitals.
Ten Year Plans to End Homelessness have sprung up around the country. They aim to eliminate homelessness essentially by doing more outreach and providing more services. Can these plans really solve homelessness or do they amount to little more than window-dressing?
Through war, catastrophe, and recession, we have largely dispensed with new taxes, and even many old taxes, in favor of funding our government's operations through foreign borrowing. Is this a sound model? Under what circumstances must we call for new taxes?
We oppose the attempt by both parties in Washington and the White House to impose their financial bailout deal on the working class. This is not in our class interests.
America's response to the events of September 11th was to declare a global war on terror, to overthrow two governments, and to conduct operations in many others. Is the over-arching theory underlying this - that the appropriate response is one of military force - a valid theory?
It is a theory to protect the prerogatives of the ruling-class families around the world. Their "right" to exploit the natural resources, to export capital for profit, to deal blows to their other imperialist rivals, and as a pretext to go after workers' social gains and rights at home.
[The following is a statement made by Mart